Tiny white mites in bedroom and living room HELP

Posted 18th Jul 2011
Hi Folks, I really need help here as me and the misses are going out of our minds!!

Last week i woke up and checked my phone for messages, I normally put it on the floor at the side of the bed, I noticed a very tiny bug crawling across the screen, it was very very tiny, mite like size.

On further inspection of the floor and bedside cabinet I noticed there was quite a few of these little mites crawling all over the top and inside a couple of the drawers, there was also some more on the electrical extension lead at the side of the bed where the light plugs into.

Basically cutting a long story short, we hoovered the whole cabinets, inside all drawers, carpet, bed and moved everything that was nearby and sealing them in ziplock bags, my PS3 remote had about 30 of the little buggers come out of it inside the bag, it's still in there and awaiting to be stripped down, the sky remote also had them in, as did other remote controls, the misses makeup cases also had them in, the bed however did not have any on, nothing on quilt, mattress or pillows, the bed frame also was bug free which I found strange.

Anyway we was still finding these even after cleaning and hoovering, so i went down to homebase a hired the rug doctor, used boiliing hot water with cleaner and dettol in it and thought this would do the trick, but we are still finding them.

Tonight we have also found them downstairs in the living room, again on the electrical extension socket, side table and a couple on a few other things.

I've been reading around on the internet and read alsorts of stories and problems with mites, they are not bed bugs or dust mites as these are microscopic and cannot be seen, the ones we have are white/cream coloured and about the size of a grain of salt if not smaller.

We have no damp or mould in the house, all the rooms are well ventilated and aired, we also keep each room well hoovered and dusted, all the furniture we have is quite new (not second hand or vintage)

I've been using a henry hoover with HEPA bag to hoover these critters up but they are getting out of control now and it's getting me down.

The only thing we have had done recently in the house is the bathroom re-plastered and also downstairs fireplace plastered also, however I've looked up plaster mites and these say they are more like beetles rather than mites.

Can anyone help and give me some advice?

Community Updates
[Guide] How to Get Rid of White Mites / Mites

Mites are a common problem. If left untreated, they will multiply and can cause an infestation in your home and health problems for your family. Human mites can sometimes cause no symptoms, but there are some people that are more prone to suffering. Mite bites can produce skin rashes, itching and other unpleasant problems. We’re going to look at how to identify these tiny bugs and what we can do to get rid of them.

5 Tips for the Elimination of Mites

1. Identify the species
2. Remove infected materials
3. Clean up
4. Use an insecticide
5. Moisture control

Mite Species and How You Can Identify them

Without knowing exactly what type of mite you’re dealing with, chances are you won’t be able to get rid of them. Here’s a quick guide to the most common types:

  • Chiggers. Chigger mites are tiny in size and they vary in colour, but can be orange, yellow, or a bright red. Chiggers are a type of mite that affect both humans and animals. They cause skin itching, that can be quite intense, with a raised or flat red bump on the skin.
  • Dust Mites. A very common mite that can cause allergic reactions in humans such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, having a blocked nose and itching. They are tiny clear bugs that only be seen under a microscope, so a skin prick test is usually necessary to diagnose the allergy. Consult your GP if you think you may be suffering from dust mite allergies.
  • Ear Mites. These mites live in ears of animals and humans. They aren’t usually visible to the naked eye but can be seen through red, sore patches of skins around and in the ears. They can be treated with anti-parasite treatments from healthcare professionals.
  • Scabies. This is a microscopic mite that burrows into the skin causing skin rashes and intense itching. It is very contagious through skin-to-skin contact and through sharing bedding or clothing. The rash can mainly be seen between the toes and fingers, and around the wrist, elbow, armpits, abdomen, genitalia, nipples and the groin. Treatment is usually prescribed insecticides from your GP.
  • Spider Mites/White Mites. These are visible as tiny white bugs, often described as looking like grains of salt or sugar. They can cause infestations in your home or even your car. You will find them on your furniture, carpets, curtains, bed linen and all other house furnishings. White mites are considered harmless by some as they don’t bite, but they DO shed hairs and it is these that can produce allergic reactions in humans.

Life cycle of a spider mite

How to Identify Mite Bites

It’s very important to identify the mites you are dealing with, one way to check is to look for bites and rashes in specific areas of your body (see the guide above). Mites can be difficult to identify, so you may have to make an appointment with a health professional to get a proper diagnosis.

How to Remove White Mites from your Home

1. Clean and Vacuum
Once mites are in your home it is important to remove any infected materials and clean them all thoroughly. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner to suction all of the infested areas then wipe all surfaces and furniture with a damp cloth. Wash bedding and curtains on the hottest recommended temperature. If the infestation is really bad, removal of carpets may be necessary but initially check that the carpet is correctly sized for the floor and not spreading up the skirting boards at any point. Clean carpets and mop floors with a warm, soapy solution.

2. Use insecticide
Now everywhere has been thoroughly cleansed, it may be necessary to use an insecticide if you see further evidence of mites in your home. Insecticides containing permethrim such as this are usually recommended for mite infestations. Vacuum again after the spray has had time to work, remembering to go into hard-to-reach places where the mites could still be hiding.

3. Control Moisture Levels
All mites are attracted to damp and warmth. Check for leaking taps and pipes around any entrances to your home. If necessary, use a dehumidifier or air conditioning unit to draw the moisture out of the air which will hopefully stop attracting another infestation.

Easy Ways to Prevent White Mites

  • Keep food storage areas dry and cool
  • Store food in airtight containers
  • Store clothes in closed cupboards
  • Clean carpets regularly and make sure they fit correctly
  • Keep a lookout for mites in your garden and stop them before they reach your home
  • Use protective dust-proof covers on all mattresses
  • Keep damp out of your home using a dehumidifier

White Mite FAQs

Are White Mites Harmful to Humans?
White mites do not bite but they can cause allergic reactions in humans through the small fine hairs that they frequently shed.

Where do White Mites Come From?
White mites are attracted to moisture and therefore if your home has areas where there are problem damp areas (such as leaking water pipes or taps). Also, if you’ve been suffering from a house infestation, check for mites on your garden plants too and remove any plants you find that have been affected.